25 April 2017
Seeking to change the old practice of inducting
incomplete warships, the defence ministry and the Indian Navy are
now planning to induct the first Scorpene-class submarine INS
Kalvari only when it is full ready for operational deployment.
This is a major change in thinking of the
government as earlier the shipyards would hand over warships to the
Navy and then would continue trials on the systems on board and the
vessels would be made fighting fit long after their official
“The defence ministry is of the view that the
vessels should be commissioned in service only if they are ready for
deployment in operations moments after they are commissioned into
the service,” Navy sources said.
“That is why, we have asked the original
equipment manufacturer Mazagon Dockyards Limited and the French DCNS
to complete all trials, including sensors and weapon fitment, before
it is handed over to the Navy for operations,” they said.
Given the importance of the vessel for the
country, it is most likely that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would
induct the submarine into the navy in presence of Parrikar.
INS Kalvari is first of the six Scorpene-class
The INS Kalvari is first of the six Scorpene-class
submarines being built by the MDL in Mumbai with DCNS under a Rs
23,000- crore project and is delayed by four years due to issues
related to make in India equipment for the vessels.
This can result in the navy waiting for a few
more months before it gets to lay its hands on its first new
conventional submarine to be inducted after gap of almost two
decades. The ‘Kalvari’ (Tiger Shark) was planned to be inducted by
the Navy by the end of 2016.
Change in warship commissioning
The issue of changing the warship commissioning
philosophy was first felt when Prime Minister Modi commissioned the
indigenous warship INS Kolkata in MDL in 2014.
While inducting the vessel, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi said induction of Kolkata would deter the enemies of
the nation, it was soon pointed out that the INS Kolkata was not
really complete. Several key weapon systems and sensors were missing
and were either being developed or yet to be procured including the
Barak-8 air defence missiles and towed array sonars which could give
it the capability to detect enemy submarines in waters.
“The thinking is now that the manufacturer should
complete each and every work related to the submarine and hand over
a fully complete vessel to the force,” said navy sources.
Parrikar had launched the submarine in March last
year for sea trials and the vessel has sailed for over 1,000 hours